Monday, March 14, 2011

A Twist to the Usual

Recipe: Vegetable Cutlets with a Twist


I have to admit that I get bored with the same kind of food very easily. And that is the number one reason I love experimenting while cooking. Some of my experiments are downright flops while a few others have turned out much better than my expectations.

If the product of my experiments is even remotely edible, I offer it to my poor family :) Just today morning, my husband painstakingly ate up a flop without much complaining. However by the afternoon, the heavens rained its blessings on the unfortunate soul who was being subjected to the trauma of eating not-so-great food without making a face. And hence my afternoon experiment was a huge success.

I made a vegetable cutlet. I have made this multiple times before, but it always tasted so boring. So this time I added an interesting twist to it :)

Cutlets are a common feature in our menu at home. The usual ones are meat cutlets. Sometimes, we venture into fish cutlets as well. The vegetable cutlet, though it is not un-common, is also the least preferred one. Not because we don't like vegetables. In fact we love our veggies. But for a cutlet, the vegetable cutlets were plain tasteless in the face of other options. And over-spicing our vegetables with all kinds of masalas is even less preferred.

Hence the twist to make it taste good. So here are the oval-shaped beauties.





When teaching me to make cutlets when I was young, my mom was very particular about the cutlets being oval in shape! In fact, she is even now. It is unacceptable to have any other shaped cutlet in her kitchen. And for some weird reason. I too prefer oval-shaped cutlets now!

So don't you want to know what the secret ingredient is? It is (drumroll please) Mozzarella cheese! And there is one more (drumroll again, please) - chopped coriander leaves! The addition of the cheese made the cutlet a little creamy and the coriander leaves promised bursts of flavours with every mouthful.

This can be had for a meal as an appetiser or a side. Or even as a snack with a cup of tea or coffee. And better still, in between 2 slices of bread as a yummy veg sandwich.




Here goes the recipe. Don't be intimidated by the length of the recipe. Basically all you have to do is saute onions, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, cook the veggies, mash the potatoes, mix everything together, except the oil :P , then shape the cutlets and coat with bread crumbs and finally deep-fry! Take a bite to enter foodie nirvana :)

VEGETABLE CUTLETS WITH A TWIST
Recipe adapted from Mom's time-tested recipe for meat cutlets.

Ingredients:


Carrots - 1/4 cup (finely grated)
Beans - 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
Cabbage - 1/4 cup (finely shredded)
Cauliflower - 1/4 cup (finely chopped)

Onion - 1 medium sized one (finely chopped)
Green chilli - 1 -2 (do adjust as per taste - finely chopped)
Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
pepper powder - 1/4 tsp (do adjust as per taste)
Curry leaves - 5-6

Potato - 3-4 medium sized ones (take as many such that you should have at least a cup of mashed potato)
Mozzarella cheese - 1/2 cup (grated)
Coriander leaves - 1 tsp (finely chopped)

Egg - 1
Bread crumbs - 1/2 - 1 cup

Oil to saute the onion and ginger - 3 Tbsp (approx)
Oil for deep frying

Salt to taste

Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a pan. Saute the finely chopped onions and green chillies till the onions are transparent. Lower the flame and add ginger paste. Let it fry on a low flame till the raw smell of the ginger goes away.

Add curry leaves and pepper to this. After a few seconds, add the finely chopped carrots, beans, cauliflower and cabbage. Add some salt to taste and mix it well. Add a quarter cup of water to this to cook the vegetables. Cook covered for 10 minutes or so on a low flame till the vegetables are well done. Once the vegetables are cooked and the water has evaporated, switch off flame and let it cool.

In the meantime, cook the potatoes with skin in a pressure cooker till a fork inserted easily slides into its middle. Remove the skin of the cooked potatoes. And mash it with the back of a fork. Add salt to taste. Add the mozzarella cheese and chopped coriander and mix well.

Pick out the curry leaves from the vegetables. (especially if you are like me and dont like to bite into them when eating a cutlet.) Mix the vegetables with the mashed potato mixture.

Shape them into oval (or round - if you must) shapes. If the mixture feels sticky, wet your hands while shaping them. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so till they cool a little bit and hence become easier to handle. (Lest you end up with all kinds of 3-d shaped cutlets!)

Beat an egg with a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on a flat plate. Dip the shaped cutlets into the egg. Coat it well with egg, And then dip them into the bread crumbs. Making sure to coat the cutlets on all sides with the bread crumbs.

Heat oil for deep-frying the cutlets. Fry them and turn them over so that they are browned on both sides.




This is a yummy cutlet with a crisp coating and a pillowy soft filling of veggies. The cheese and the coriander leaves did their bit exceptionally well! Make sure you eat them piping hot :)

And off this goes to Magpie's for Kerala kitchen of this month.

I'm also sending this to the event "Let's break bread together" at Wit, Wok and Wisdom :)

13 comments:

  1. Mmmm that's an intriguing combination- cutlets with mozzarella huh. Gotta give it a try! Thanks for sharing the secret of your success, now it's gonna be ours too! :)

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  2. Cheesy Cutlet sounds so yummy !!!

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  3. Mmm gooey cheese! These cutlets look super yummy Sarah!
    My mom is an oval cutlet fanatic too! I think because it is the most space efficient when frying and stacking.
    Oh and I cook the veggies in the microwave, and also add some of the bread crumbs to the filling :)

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  4. @Plateful: Sure Nash :) What's the point of having a secret, if you can't share it :P
    @Sneha: thanks dear.
    @Magpie: aah i c... There's always inner wisdom in the words of all moms. Thanks for efficient tip of microwaving the veggies and adding bread crumbs to it :)

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  5. Yummy...looks good...gonna try this weekend

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  6. Please do, Kumar. And let me know how it turned out :)

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  7. Wow, what a great idea. This looks super delicious! I've got an award for you! Please come by and pick it up.

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  8. hey...it definitely looks interesting...but i am seriously scared of any deep fried thing...is it not very high on calories?

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  9. @Deep: Yep, you are spot on. Always better to avoid deep-fried stuff :) But then if you exercise daily and watch your weight, cholesterol and BP, a little bit of deep-fried food will not hurt :)

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  10. I was thinking of going veg for a while....but I am so boring when it comes to veg cooking, definitely going to try this

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  11. Good one! Keep contributing such tasty stuff!!

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  12. thats great! let me know how it turns out :)

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